Right now, everybody talks about which diet works better and how to approach the issue of losing weight. However, the most important thing anyone should do regardless of their meal plan is to prepare their own meals.
Sadly, we all know it’s not that simple. Who wants to spend hours to dice onions and check if the meal is cooked in the oven? Unless you are really passionate about cooking, you’d probably rather order something and watch a movie than anything else.
Nothing you do will ever work without self-meal preparation.
No matter how many easy recipes there may be, they still seem to require too much effort – especially when Pizza Hut is just one call away. Well, the secret to preparing your own meals is to get them ready ahead of time. Whether it’s a stash of pre-made meals or every ingredient ready to be used, these simple tasks will make everything at least ten times easier.
We asked nutritionists for their advice on self-meal preparation and here is what each of them suggested:
Chop a bunch of veggies
Yes, it is as easy as it sounds. RD Julie Upton says that, if you’re prepping meals for one or two people, you can chop every vegetable you need for the week ahead. Once you get hungry, all you have to do is toss them into a stir-fry, make a salad or anything else you like.
Cook one/two protein sources
From chicken to eggs, there are many natural, healthy sources of protein that can last up to an entire workweek if you cook them right! This means that just a couple of hours will give you the chance of eating healthy meals all week long.
Simplest choices: pan-fry chicken breasts, grill salmon fillets, hard-boil a half-dozen eggs
Pack food in storage containers
If you want to self-prep meals ahead of time and keep them for longer, storage containers will become your best friends. “I also like to use rectangular glass meal prep containers, so they can be refrigerated, and then baked, and/or microwaved straight from refrigerator,” says Sharon Palmer, RDN.
Keep measuring cups nearby
Getting ingredients ready a week ahead makes it pretty difficult for you to figure out exactly how much you need for each meal. As MPH Cynthia Sass suggests, the quickest option is to keep measuring cups right next to the food containers in your fridge.
“I can just scoop them out in the right proportions,” Sass says. “I aim for two cups of veggies, a half cup of cooked pulses (beans, lentils, chickpeas), or a half cup of wild salmon salad, and a half cup of cooked starch (sweet potato, quinoa, brown rice, purple potato).”
Double the servings
Whenever she makes dinner for her family, Upton always prepares extra vegetables, grains and chicken to store and use them later for future meals. This is a great way of getting future meals ready ahead in time and you won’t even realize it!